Despite the use of weed being more than tolerated in Barcelona, from a legal point of view there are several inconsistencies and the truth is that the debate on the subject it’s more complicated than one might think.
A first step to trying to understand if weed can be legally smoked in Barcelona is to take into account the concept of “crime against public health”.
According to article 368 of the spanish criminal code, “those who carry out acts of cultivation, processing or trafficking, or otherwise promote, favor or facilitate the illegal consumption of toxic drugs, narcotics or psychotropic substances, will be sentenced.”
However, in Barcelona, weed clubs and associations that dispense marijuana are allowed, as these are considered closed spaces, reserved for members and in which a small number of people can consume cannabis individually and responsibly.
This implies that smoking weed in Barcelona, inside a club, is not considered a crime against public health.
It is NOT allowed to sell weed to people who are not members of the club. Also, one of the requirements to be a cannabis club is to have a double-door system, which prevents the lobby from seeing what happens inside, where cannabis consumption actually takes place. Another essential requirement is the presence of smoke extractors.
Is smoking weed legal in Barcelona and/or Spain?
The law does not prohibit the consumption of cannabis in private places, as long as it is not intended for sale. This means that in Barcelona it is legal to smoke marijuana in your own home or in associations that dispense marijuana, since these are considered closed spaces NOT open to the general public and that meet the requirements. Interestingly, in March 2022, a sentence in Jaén annulled a fine of 601 euros that was imposed on a person who was discovered by the police with 0.55 grams of cannabis in his car, parked on the street.
The judge decided to nullify the fine because the car can’t be considered a public place or public transport. The case is different, when marijuana is transported for the purpose of sale or when driving under the influence of this substance. There it is considered a crime against public health.
How much is the fine for consuming marijuana in public places?
Consuming cannabis in public places may be “tolerated” in many cases but remains illegal. The minimum sanction is 601€, but it can reach 30,000€, depending on the danger caused to public health and the financial availability of the transgressor. So, if you are thinking of legally smoking weed in Barcelona, remember that the best place to do it is in authorized weed clubs: they will have the best quality cannabis and you can be sure that no one will be able to fine you!
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